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Bert SalzmanJoshua, Black Boy Of Harlem (1969)

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It’s Joshua’s last day in Harlem before leaving for a college in Texas where he has earned a track and field scholarship. He runs joyfully through New York’s central park but his joy ends when he is the victim of a racial slur uttered by a five year old boy that he had befriended. Later, on his way home Joshua is able to work out his anger during a fight with a boy his age. The confrontation releases Joshua’s frustration and after the fight , in a dramatic scene Joshua is able to fly a uniquely designed kite that the boy had built but was unable to get airborne.

JOSHUA (15 minutes, black and white, 1969). Joshua is a black boy in Harlem who has won an athletic scholarship that will take him to a Texas college. Somewhat upset at the prospect of leaving behind tile people who love him and entering the strange white world, lie takes off on an energetic last romp in the park. At the zoo he becomes friendly with a small boy who uses the word “nigger” unthinkingly. Now seriously upset and angry, but unable to strike back at the child, Joshua races off again, but crashes into a white boy about his own age. They fight fiercely, although the white boy cannot understand Joshua’s fury. As Joshua calms down, he too sees the pointlessness of the fight and takes off once more. But the white boy calls him back to enlist his aid in getting an elaborate kite off the ground. After Joshua’s running skill has been put to good use to get the kite aloft, the two boys seem to see each other as individuals, rather than as stereotyped foes.Joshua tells its simple story in a charmingly lyrical style that suggests but does not force its basic message that confrontations between blacks and whites can be constructive.

EFLA( Educational Film Library Association Blue Ribbon Award.
Marcus and Emily Williams achievement award for the promotion of racial equality in America.

This movie is part of the collection: Academic Film Archive of North America

Director: Bert Salzman
Producer: Bert Salzman
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: Bert Salzman

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63.4 MB
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salzman_joshua_reviews.xml Metadata 687.0 B
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Reviewer: jeannie7 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - July 26, 2007
Subject: A confrontation between races and a wonderful resolution
This black and white film about racial conflict between young people and resolution is simply marvelous! It is also inelligent and touching. It should be shown and discussed at every multi racial school in America.